Director-General condemns murder of Italian journalist Vittorio Arrigoni
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, condemned the murder of Vittorio Arrigoni, the Italian reporter and peace campaigner whose body was found in the Gaza Strip on 15 April, one day after his abduction.
"I condemn the incomprehensible and senseless murder of Vittorio Arrigoni," the Director-General said. "He was a courageous journalist, who chose to remain and report on events in a troubled region. He was also deeply committed to building peace and, through his writing, constantly called on all parties to 'remain human'.
"I call on the Palestinian authorities in Gaza to thoroughly investigate this murder, and bring Vittorio Arrigoni's killers to justice, thereby sending a clear message that such crimes will not be tolerated."
Arrigoni, 36, reported on Palestinian issues for Italian newspaper Il Manifesto, and for the news website Peace Reporter. He also worked with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a pro-Palestinian rights group.
According to reports quoted by the International Press Institute, the journalist was kidnapped on 14 April by a group, which released a YouTube video threatening to kill Arrigoni unless a number of political prisoners were set free.
Authorities in Gaza announced that Arrigoni's body had been found in an abandoned house in the Gaza Strip before the Friday evening deadline had passed.'
UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to "further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations." To realize this the Organization is requested to "collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image..."